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Prevent Summer Brain Drain Even While Traveling!
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - June 19th, 2019
Around this time every year, parents begin worrying about the dreaded “summer slide.” This term defines the learning loss kids experience over the summer due to the fact that they aren’t going to school every day and engaging their minds in reading, thinking and problem solving.
Keep the Momentum Going
Many parents scoff at the notion that summer brain drain is something to take seriously, but it’s a very real threat to kids’ forward momentum. Research shows that children who don’t take part in some kind of educational brain-building over the summer lose three months of progress they made during the school year. The losses are worse for math than they are for reading, and they are cumulative over the years. This is bad enough on its face, but think about what that summer learning loss really means: imagine that the gains your child made from February through April were wiped off the map.
Of course, many parents avoid doing anything to counteract summer slide for fear that they’ll burn their kids out or prevent them from getting a well-earned break from school. This can also be a self-interested move on a parent’s part; after all, what mom or dad doesn’t wait for the day that their child stops bringing home assignments that usually include tough math and reading worksheets (not to mention social studies, science, and all the other subjects our kids see on a daily basis). Let’s face it – we could all use that a break!
Find that Happy Balance
So how can you help your kids this summer without feeling like a drill sergeant out to ruin a relaxing summer? This can be especially challenging when you’re on the go, doing family vacations or outings. And furthermore, how involved should parents get in their kids academic lives year round?
Parents Hold the Key
First the latter – I strongly believe that parents hold the key to their kids’ academic success. The more involved you are, the better your kids will do in school. Period. I know this from experience.
Here’s Our Story….
When my son Sam was three-years-old, I knew something wasn’t right. He wasn’t developing as quickly as his big sister. A doctor diagnosed a hearing problem that could be fixed via surgery and (after giving Sam an IQ test where he scored in the 37th percentile) pronounced that Sam would never be very smart and would always need special education.
After picking up my broken heart, I did what so many of us would do – called my mom. Fortunately, my mother has a PhD in Early Childhood Development and showed me how to work with my son to prepare him for school and testing. Sam came to love our special “learning time,” where we’d cuddle in bed and spend about 30-minutes each night working on language, math, puzzles and more. One year later, Sam scored in the 94th percentile on an IQ test. He was admitted to a competitive private school in Manhattan and is now an honors student.
That story isn’t to boast about my son; it’s to illustrate the powerful impact parent just a small amount of involvement (in my case, just 30-minutes a day!) can have on a child’s intelligence.
Read HERE for more about keeping their minds active and teaching on the go!